Breadcrumb pasta recipe

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While breadcrumb pasta came from humble beginnings, you won’t find this dish humble at all. With spaghetti coated in olive oil, a hint of garlic, and crunchy bread crumbs, you would never think that this delicious meal came as a result of leftover bread turned stale. This dish was originally created to use leftover bread along with other limited ingredients, and it became a household staple in Southern Italy. There are many variations of this meal from different regions of Italy. To try a different version of this recipe, add sausage or anchovies. This dish can also be sweetened by adding sugar or honey, as was custom during certain holidays in Italy.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 Minutes


  • 1 cup gluten-free homemade breadcrumbs or store bought
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 200 grams pancetta (Italian bacon), trim fat and chop
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed chili pepper
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 350 grams of gluten-free spaghetti salt and pepper to taste
How to Make It
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Reserve half a cup of the boiling water and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the pancetta, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until the pancetta is golden-brown, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the chili pepper and cook until sizzling, about 2 minutes.
  4. Raise the heat to medium and add the breadcrumbs. Cook until they are golden-brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until the breadcrumbs are crispy and brown, about another minute. Remove from heat, stir in the parsley, and set aside.
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook per the package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Add the pancetta, the breadcrumb mixture, and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to combine. Add some of the reserved water to moisten, if necessary.
  6. Top with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and serve.

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